Transforming the Industry – One Package at a Time

When you’re into angling, you have to think of the environment – after all, the whole sport is based on nature’s wellbeing. The same goes for companies in the fishing tackle industry.

Innovation, Sustainability | 3 min read

Sustainability has been an integral part of Rapala VMC’s operations for a long while, and in 2020, we stepped it up further with our new sustainability strategy. Now, we are one of the largest players in the fishing industry to not just consider using sustainable packing for fishing tackle, but to actually make it happen. With a lot of strategizing, planning, and development, Aino Borg, the Packaging Design & Innovation Manager at Rapala VMC, has created a new kind of packaging design – one entirely made from cardboard.

As part of our new sustainability strategy, one of our goals is to get rid of as much plastic packaging as possible. With the new Flash-X lures, that goal has become a reality. The Flash-X Skitter and Flash-X Dart are all packed in an FSC-certified carton, with absolutely no plastic involved. The lead-free lures are enclosed securely in the package and can be felt and seen directly by anglers without any plastic covering the intricate details and vibrant colors of the finishes.

Redesigning is never easy. By definition, the process requires dismantling something established and looking at things from a completely new perspective. With the new packaging concept, the lengthy design and implementation process took around one year. The process required testing many different prototypes for stability, safety, and ease of packaging, among many other things.

But, according to Aino, the process was not a task, but a creative adventure. Starting from scratch, Aino had to come up with a way to modernize the way Rapala lures are presented – while preserving an emphasis on the design and colorways of the baits.

And, of course, when designing packaging for products equipped with needle-sharp hooks, safety is paramount. According to Aino, a considerable challenge in the process was figuring out how to create a package that safely stores the lure hooks. While the hooks have previously always been on display in the packaging, this was no longer feasible without using plastic – unless you rethink the way lures are packaged. After a lot of trial and error, a design was created that allowed for the hooks to be viewable, but also safely tucked away.

The hooks on the Flash-X Skitter are hidden and securely tucked away – while the design on the package explains the type of hooks that are attached.

“By far, my favorite part of the process was the ongoing collaborative momentum we had. As my office is in a very central location, many employees came in and offered their input and took part in the process – turning it into an enthusiastic group effort to transform the way we package our lures.”